Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Spotlight On ...

Maia of Astrida Naturals and Media Move!

1. Tell us a little bit about who you are and your life up to this point in time.
My name is Maia of Astrida Naturals and Media Move. I'm 24, and currently live in the suburbs just outside of Chicago. I went to undergrad for New Media Design but before I finished, I knew I wanted to work for myself. After I earned my BFA, I went back to school and earned an MBA so that I could start my own business. During this time I was also working with my father, selling African American books online. Now we have a store, and I am fully pursuing my dreams of self employment by selling shea butter products and providing graphic, web, and flash design services.

2. Besides your fantasy creative life, what else are doing currently?
I own a bookstore! In November, 2007 I opened a bookstore with my father, we actually earned out MBAs at the same time and used our store, Azizi Books, as our final business plan project. I'm here at Azizi Books all the time, even as I write this. We also continue to sell books online at http://www.blackbooksdirect.com/.

3. What do you offer in your Etsy Shop?
At AstridaNaturals.etsy.com, I sell unrefined shea butter products and African black soap. MediaMove.etsy.com is my new shop. I currently offer premade banners and custom banner designs, but I would ultimately like to offer dynamic advertising and marketing solutions, such as video and interactive flash movies and banners and websites, for other merchants.

4. Where do you create?
I've completely taken over the kitchen for my shea butter creations!

5. Where do you get your inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from my family when creating new products. My shea butter business originally started because I wanted to create natural skin care solutions for myself and my family. They pretty much tell me what I need to create next.

6. How did you learn how to do your craft?
I did a lot of research before I started the shea butter business. Owning a bookstore gives me lots of access to great books, so I read as much as I could about skin care and all the ingredients that I could to use to create a line. I also did a lot of experimenting on my family and friends before I started selling.

7. How do you promote your wares?
I have a blog, astridanaturals.blogspot.com where I talk about my products and share my knowledge about skin care. I also promote a lot on Etsy. You can find me on the forums almost daily. Even if I only have time for one post, I think that it has helped. I don't really promote my design services too much. Word of mouth usually gives me enough design work and new media jobs to keep busy.

8. What has been the most important lesson you've learned since you started selling your own creations?
I've learned not to get too distracted by what other sellers are doing in my category. I used to compare, and it was driving me nuts, so I don't anymore. I've also learned that great communications leads to happy customers.

9. Is there any advice you can give others who are just starting out?
Do your research! Try not to get distracted but what others are doing in your category. Stay true to your goals and remember why you started selling in the first place. If getting hundreds of sales is your goal then you have got to promote like a street fighter. Also take great pictures.

10. Do you have any favorite Etsy artists you'd like to promote here?
Why, yes, I do have some favorites! I love, the Adinkra pendents from CreativeArtandSoul.etsy.com, the journals from Kreativlink.etsy.com, needle tatting from TotusMel.etsy.com, and soaps from dennisanderson.etsy.com.


Anonymous said...

Great feature! I'm definitely going to take a look at your online book store.I think you just gained a new customer. :) Keep up the hard work, your doing a beautiful job.

Unknown said...

Thank you satindollco!

Jennifer said...

Really nice feature!

Rhena said...

A BFA and an MBA??? I force to be reckoned with.


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